Poverty eradication is key in addressing teenage pregnancies
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
By Liz Muthoka & yoana kim
Poverty has been cited as the key cause of teenage pregnancies in Kitui County.
According to statistics, approximately 8678 under age pregnancy cases have been confirmed in Kitui County alone .
This is according to a research conducted by the Kitui County Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
Speaking during a stake holders meeting on solution based approach on early pregnancies, a meeting organised by the National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with USAID, NYC chairperson Kitui chapter Aggrey Nzomo, said the research targeted girls below the age of 24 years .
He further urged parents to take an initiative in taming bad behaviours on their teenage girls.
“We need to engage our girls on sex education to avoid the issue of more girls getting pregnant.” He said.
Mr Simon Mutunga Nding’o, the KNUT Executive Secretary Kitui County said teenage pregnancies is a nationwide problem and therefore everybody should be responsible in the matter.
“Let’s not blame teachers, instead parents should take the responsibility of allocating duties to their children and introduce back the cane.” Nding’o said.
Afya Halisi Coordinator for behaviour change Wendy Adamba said the program is focused on identifying the key problems as to why teenage pregnancies was on the rise.
She cited teenage girls vulnerability to enticements and tips from bodaboda riders and ‘sponsors’ for sanitary pads among key other things.
“Teens now own more expensive things than their parents, where do they get all this things from?” she wondered.
Kitui County Deputy Governor Dr. Wathe Nzau said he was happy the county government was part of the initiative and further urged all stakeholders to take care of the girl child since they are more vulnerable to small temptations.
He cited poverty as the main cause of the problem with 62% of people in Kitui living below the poverty line.
He further reiterated the county governments move on poverty eradication by identifying more youth development projects.
Kitui County Commissioner Mr. Samuel Kimitu said teenage pregnancies was a national issue that requires everybody and therefore said that they were not going to relent on addressing cases of teenage assault.
Also in attendance were Kitui County government representatives, Chiefs and Joysila foundation.